1. Read the instructions on the label carefully and only treat the ear that requires the drops.
  2. Wash your hands with soap and water or hand sanitiser if water is not available.
  3. Remove the lid of the ear drops.
  4. If the bottle is cold then warm it in your hand for a few minutes.
  5. Check that the dropper or nozzle is clear and is not chipped or cracked.
  6. Tilt your head or lie on your side with the affected ear up.
  7. Gently pull the ear backward and upward ( or if giving to a child younger than 3 years of age, pull backward and downward) to open the ear canal.
  8. Place the prescribed number of drops into the ear.
  9. Gently press on the small skin flap over the ear to help the drops to run into the ear canal.
  10. Stay with your head tilted for at least 5 minutes so the drops have time to work.
  11. Use a clean tissue to wipe away any liquid that runs out of your ear. Don’t use cotton buds inside your ear.
  12. Wash your hands to remove the medication.

Handy tips

    • You may using ear drops a little difficult at first. You will find it becomes easier with practice. You could also ask someone to do it for you.
    • Complete the course or take the medicine as instructed by your doctor. Do not use medicine after the expire date on the bottle.
    • If you miss a dose do not try to catch up by taking two or three missed doses at once.
    • Store ear drops upright in a cool place. Keep all medicines out of the reach of children. Avoid taking medicine in front of young children – they may copy your behaviour.
    • Never share your medicine, even if someone else has similar symptoms.

Disclaimer This document describes the generally accepted practice at the time of publication only. It is only a summary of clinical knowledge regarding this area. The Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital makes no warranty, express or implied, that the information contained in this document is comprehensive. They accept no responsibility for any consequence arising from inappropriate application of this information.

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  • How to use Ear Drops #
  • Owner: Pharmacy
  • Last Reviewed: February 2, 2023
  • Next Review: January 8, 2027